Saturday, December 9, 2017

Birthday, Thanksgiving, and Princess Day

This morning we unexpectedly woke up to this winter wonderland.

Normally, I would not appreciate snow during a time like this because it has already interfered with basketball games, a possible trip to Raleigh, Christmas shopping, and the Christmas play.
However, because I hit stress level +11 last week, I was able to appreciate the halt of all activities.
This snow (like online shopping) was a pure blessing.  

December activities are certainly taking us through a whirlwind but today I was able to sort and pull my pictures off of all devices.  
Allow me to get caught up in November:  

Birthday-  my last 30s
This year was really different for my birthday.  
I'm used to my old school really going all out, so this year was a bit more subdued, which was fine because I was overwhelmed by life.  Still, I ended up arriving to a BiG SuRpRiSe...

Yep, Mrs. E.  made sure to sneak to the school to surprise me with a sign, cake, and BIRDday gift. 

You may have remembered from my previous blog that all of my friends have an unhealthy attachment to bird watching, calling, and picture taking (snore), so Mrs. E. made sure to set me up with some bird trinkets.  #craycray

My middle schoolers had no problem sharing my cake.
(Birthdays never tasted so good Mrs. E!!)

It was a good birthday, lots of good wishes and the Husband even brought me back a gift from the beach trip he took with Connor. 

Love those bangles. 

Thanksgiving STOP #1

                  This year we made a few stops for                                         Thanksgiving.

I made the most adorable cornucopias for dessert. 

Turkey Day Selfie

Tru Bug Selfie

Yum!  Yum!  There is a reason they call it 
'Thanksgiving Day Full'. 

Thanksgiving STOP #2

Don't you love this coloring tablecloth?
It provides a lot of entertainment while you await the Turkey Lunch.  (In between selfies that is...)

My Connor:  going through his football cards. 
(My boy loves his football.)

An Auntie Selfie

C & O
(these gals are growing too fast)

A little Thanksgiving Game called 'Farting Pig'
(bringing family members closer one fart at a time)

Burning Off the Turkey Dinner

Football Time (while practicing with volleyball?)

In Sechrist Tradition- 
We Deck the Halls right after Thanksgiving (or the next day)
I love this photo of my sweeties.

This is what happened right after the picture was made:

Princess Day

Another tradition, 
our annual mother-daughter Disney on Ice day.
Don't you love this fur coat?

It is one of the nicest gifts we have ever been given.

We had so much fun!!  
It was totally worth it.  

Here is the highlight reel I made for Carlee-

I love me some princess day with my growing princess!

Now bring on the Christmas Festivities!!! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Types of Middle School (SSR) Readers

You may have heard of a Sustained silent reading (SSR).  This is a form of school-based recreational reading, or free voluntary reading, where students read silently in a designated time period every day in school.   
The purpose is to give children TIME to experience the joy of reading thus becoming better readers.  

Did you know there were nine different types of readers in Middle School?  
Oh yes, you gotta' love those Tweens (hey, you did it too a long time ago)!    💗💗💗💗

(this is what I did instead of paperwork the other night)

1.  The "Upside Down" Reader

2.  The "Social" Reader

3.   The "Never Turns the Page" Reader

4.  The “Daydreamer”  Reader

6.  The "Easy" Reader

7.  The "Challenging" Reader

8.  The "Snacker" Reader

9. The "Inspirational" Reader 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Unexpected Life

This week has been an emotional ride and I am wiped out by the magnitude of it.  

Heaven gained two sweet angels and two very fine men. 

In the past two months, I have attended four funerals.  I am trying my hardest to stay steeped in the word of God to calm my anxiety that is threatening to spill over.  The anxiety tries to make me live in fear and worry, takes away hope, and doesn't promise another minute in this life.

This week I held my friend as I felt her grief and heartache.  I know of NO ONE with the heart, compassion, and grace of J.
I worry about her sensitive heart.  

I hurt for these girls but I remain so thankful for the beautiful family bond that they share.  
Please pray for their comfort and peace.  
My BFF J. and her daughter and the most adorable grandson ever

This particular piece was written by J's brother and I wanted to share it so that it may touch others.    
I think it is beautiful. 

Rest in Peace Friends

This week also brought a special recognition.
Between the funeral and Carlee getting strep throat I really didn't think I could make it...... 

....but y'all know I have the kind of friends that are pretty determined.  
They drove me, paid for the hotel, and did what they do
....and made sure I had a fun evening. 

I don't deserve such good people. 
Of course, Mrs. E. made a very, very, very special award with my most embarrassing "best" photos.  

We had a bit of a laugh because when my name was called I waved at my friends "cheering" but they were hidden off in the back so it looked like I was a southern beauty pageant queen waving at my MANY fans. 
(...and no one else waved?)

I had to use masking tape to fix my broken glass. (see right side of glasses).
The fun keeps rolling!

I love you ladies.  You made an ordinary evening very AWESOME. 

By the weekend, I had one more emotional (but happy) event-
the wedding of a former student.

The crew reunited again and it felt so good.
I forgot my coat so I used Carlee's Frozen blanket for a 'shaw'.  #classy

A teacher never forgets the class that made her a teacher.   I don't know how well I taught them but there is not one child in that class that would say that I didn't love them. 
They were the best.
E. front row, white sweater

I remember most that Ms. Ellie was as happy to be in my class as I was to teach her!  Maybe neither one of us had a clue but we were very HAPPY.

 I actually invited my first class to MY wedding.
Are they not adorable? 

Ms. Ellie is in the pink and her sister is in the orange.  Below are Ellie and her sister all grown up.

Now Ms Mrs. E. is a teacher and wife of her own.  
I'm proud of you girlie.

My new life goal is to look as good as Ellie's mom when Carlee gets married. 
We have been friends since we both nearly failed Spanish in college.  
The mother of the bride truly looked buento bonita.

As Ellie gave her vows, my mind thought about that little enthusiastic girl that wanted to write about basketball for every topic, to the young Pollyanna graduate I was, and to the way that life speeds by us at a quick pace.  
This is an unexpected life.

I pray for this young couple as they begin a promising and beautifully complex life together. 

As the preacher stated this week:
All we have in this life is God and each other. 

I choose to take this day God has made in it's adventure, beauty, pain, anxiety, heartache, joy, and make it good by treasuring the relationships along the way.


Jeremiah 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Embracing the Chaos

I can't believe we are looking at Christmas in a little over a month. This first half of the year has been a whirlwind.  A pretty good whirlwind up to this week.....this week has been one for the books (a book I plan to trash).
I love fall.

One day I would really like to express/blog what I see happening to boys at preteen age.  It was a bit unexpected for me.  We all know that girls face a lot of challenges at this age and I've read a lot of great articles addressing these issues but less is out there for moms of boys.  Let's just say there are a lot of unfair standards and grace is often saved for those who people deem worthy of it.   

This week taught me to listen to my son when he is expressing himself and to remember that men DO have feelings.   
not always....

I just ask for prayers in navigating this life because I have a way of handling things that are so very different from the way that God wants me to handle things.  

On the positive, I can't wait to share a new initiative I've started in my life, I've called it Embrace the Chaos! (seriously I gave it a name)
It is about handing things over to God.
I am definitely onto something because the second I decided I was going to implement change in my life, Satan began prowling all over this household and in particular me.  It has been my hardest more challenging week yet.
I'm definitely documenting a future blog/testimony.  

I'm excited about my new bible.  It's a Journaling Bible and it contains a blank page per page of scripture.  I journaled out my Sunday school lesson above and I had a lot of fun doing it.
It's been a while since I've been excited about studying scriptures.  To be honest I've struggled finding a consistent way to study since Carlee was born.

This is all a part of my Embrace the Chaos 
(and if you know me, I HATE Chaos).
Hate It.

...but this is what God is laying on my heart right now.... so you know the big guy is the boss (not just Bruce Springsteen).

I've got a lot on my mind and heart for both my personal situations and for others close to me who are going through so much more right now.  
I want to share that in the chaos there is so much joy and I refuse to have it stolen from me. 

Fall Blessings-
Celebrating September Birthday in October

Auntie E
Uncle M.'s "practiced" Psycho Stare, lol



Some of the most golden friends (even if they do have an unhealthy attachment to bird watching and calling).

I love my new breakfast socks. 

 Going to bed early and Sleeping IN 
(do we know how to party or what!?!)

Food, Food, and more Food

A reading from Ms. Jane.  
The pieces were so good and I want this book as a Christmas gift.

Game Night..AKA.  
Laughing so hard I snort, pee, and choke at the same time.

Why did this make me laugh so hard?

We are the five snowbirds.  
I love these women (and mothers) who have experienced the challenges of life and children
....and have lived to tell about it.  

Our first Spirit Week

All about the 80s.

The Powerpuff Game was a HOOT


I am so proud of Connor for taking part in the Richard Childress Racing program.
He is enjoying the projects.

love this quote

Speaking of room is pure chaos.....
I've got kids in and out like a revolving door.
Some kids need help reading,  some need it in math, and some need to tell me they are about to 'punch someone's head in'.
I like to keep the door revolving if you know what I mean.


I was able to clean up at the end of the week and despite my cray cray schedule, I have a whole new game plan (understanding that if God changes it, I can cope)!  

My modified kidney table.